Minutes - TRIPS Council - View details of the intervention/statement

Ambassador W. Armstrong (New Zealand)
A Notifications under Article 4(d)
1. The Chairman said that, since the Council's previous meeting, a notification under Article 4(d) of the Agreement had been received from the Slovak Republic. The notification indicated that two agreements that were no longer valid should be deleted from the list of bilateral agreements which the Slovak Republic had notified earlier. This notification had been distributed in document IP/N/4/SVK/2/Corr.1. 2. The Chairman recalled that the Council, at its previous meeting, had agreed to allocate sufficient time at the present meeting to focus on the criteria that might be relevant to deciding whether a notification should be made under Article 4(d), in particular those listed in the informal Secretariat note of 25 April 1996 and in proposals from delegations. This note had been updated by the Secretariat on the basis of the consultations held on the matter and the proposals referred to and circulated as document No. 397, dated 27 January 1997. The criteria were contained in paragraph 7 of that document and were intended to assist individual Members in making or reviewing their notifications, it being understood that the criteria could not add to or diminish the rights and obligations of WTO Members under the provisions of Article 4(d). The only difference in the list of criteria, compared to the list contained in the earlier version of the note, was that a new point had been added concerning provisions of other multilateral intellectual property agreements which were incorporated into the TRIPS Agreement. The Chairman said that, prior to the present meeting, he had held further informal consultations on the matter and provided an opportunity to delegations to air any points that they had concerning the criteria listed in paragraph 7 of the updated Secretariat note. As a result of those consultations, and taking account of points made by delegations, a second revision of the note had been prepared by the Secretariat and distributed in document No. 930 of February 1997. In particular, the re-drafted paragraph 7 distinguished between, on the one hand, criteria flowing directly from the provisions of the chapeau of Article 4 and the text of sub-paragraph (d) itself and, on the other hand, criteria derived from other provisions of the TRIPS Agreement. 3. On the basis of the informal consultations held, the Chairman suggested that the Council take the following action: -first, that the Council would note the existence of the Secretariat paper, the last paragraph of which was intended as an informal guideline to assist individual Member States in making or reviewing their notifications under Article 4(d); -second, that the Council would revert to the issue in the autumn so as to take stock of the situation at that time and in the light of any new or revised notifications that had been made; and -third, that the Council would note that in the meantime it remained open for any Member to raise specific points concerning the notifications under Article 4(d), either bilaterally or on the floor of the Council.